What Do I Need to Know About Letter Contracts? Do I Dare?

What are the circumstances necessitating the use of a letter contract which is also referred to as an undefinitized contract? The main circumstance is the government’s interests demand that the contractor immediately begin work and negotiating the final contract price (definitized) isn’t possible in order to meet the needs of the buying activity. Letter contracts should only be used when the work needs to immediately begin and there isn’t sufficient time to agree on the final terms and conditions. The government and prime contractors use letter contracts to immediately start work and then set a schedule to work towards negotiating to the finish line.

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Topics: Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, FAR

DoD-IG has two Opposing Views on DCAA

DoD-IG goes after DCMA for not supporting DCAA Findings

On February 26, 2021, the DoD-IG issued an audit report raising significant concern about the actions taken by DCMA Administrative Contracting Officers (ACOs) in relation to DCAA audit findings. The Finding section of the DoD-IG report found that out of 30 DCAA audit reports at two of the largest DoD contractors, 14 were not properly addressed per Federal Acquisition Regulation requirements by the cognizant ACO. Our guess and POGO believes the large DoD contractors are Lockheed Martin and Boeing – but this is only our guess. The DoD-IG report goes on to state that: “As a result, DCMA contracting officer actions on the eight audit reports may have resulted in improperly reimbursing DoD contractors up to $97 million in unallowable costs on Government contracts. In addition, because DCMA contracting officers did not take timely action on six audit reports, they delayed the correction of CAS noncompliances and the recovery of any increased costs due to the Government.” The report goes on to state that: “The Defense Contract Management Agency Director agreed with all five recommendations,” including reviewing ACO decisions to “Disallow and recoup any unallowable costs not previously disallowed.” (Evaluation of Defense Contract Management Agency Actions Taken on Defense Contract Audit Agency Report Findings Involving Two of the Largest Department of Defense Contractors – DoD-IG-2021-056, Dated February 26, 2021)

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Topics: Litigation Consulting Support, Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, DOD IG, DCAA Audit Support, FAR, Government Regulations, DOD Contractors, Cost Accounting Standards (CAS)

Simple but Effective Prime Contract Management Suggestions

Need some simple suggestions for basic contract management? This is a follow on to the previously published blog, Simple but Effective Subcontract Management Suggestions. Below are a few suggestions to consider when initiating and managing your prime contract within your contracts group.

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Topics: Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, DOD Contractors

Time to Get Your Training On

You’re probably not feeling quite like THIS about training, but we do want to remind you of a few topics that you, as a federal government contractor, need to address with your workforce on a fairly regular basis. We can’t hit them all, but this is a list of those that should be on the radar of your Human Resources staff and are relevant to most contractors.

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Topics: Contracts Administration, Government Compliance Training, Human Resources, OFCCP, Affirmative Action, Drug-Free Workforce, CoBEC, EEO, Anti-Human Trafficking

Buy American – Don’t Get Caught With Your Documentation Down

What’s new in this long-standing area?

The FAR Council at long last issues final rule to implement the Trump Executive Order 13881, Maximizing Use of American-Made Goods, Products, and Materials. Only a few days later a Biden Executive Order 14005, Ensuring Future of America is Made in America by all of America’s Workers, hit the streets.

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Topics: Business Systems Review, Cost and Pricing and Budgeting, Incurred Cost Submission, Small Business Compliance, Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, DFARS Business Systems, Incurred Cost Proposals, DCAA Audit Support, FAR, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Government Regulations, DOD Contractors

Thought There Were 52 Unallowable Costs – Not So Fast

A Little Background

FAR Part 31, Cost Principles, is the regulation that government contractors must follow in order to account for cost on most government contracts. Within FAR Part 31 is FAR 31.205, Selected Costs. This part of the cost principles regulation specifically spells out unallowable cost that the government will not pay for under a government contract. This section starts at FAR 31.205-1 and goes all the way up to FAR 31.205-52. However, it should be noted that FAR 31.205-2, 5, 9, 24, 45, and 50 are “Reserved” – These reserved cost areas went the way of the dinosaur over time, hopefully not to return. For example, FAR 31.204-2, Automatic Data Processing Equipment Leasing Costs, required an annual demonstration that leasing computer equipment was cost-effective, i.e., lowest cost to the Federal Government.

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Topics: Incurred Cost Submission, Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, Government Compliance Training, Incurred Cost Proposals, Cost-Type Contracts, DCAA Audit Support, FAR, Government Regulations, DOD Contractors

DoD Expands Treatment of Contractor Purchases as Commercial Items

Here are the Details

DoD issued DFARs Final Rule D2019-D029 – Treatment of Commingled Items Under $10K, effective October 1, 2020, to implement several sections of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 that addresses treatment of commingled items purchased by contractors and services provided by nontraditional defense contractors as commercial items. This blog only addresses the DFARS change relative to the treatment of commingled items purchased by a contractor. The final rule is applicable to all solicitations and contracts, including solicitations and contracts using FAR Part 12 procedures for the acquisition of commercial items and solicitations and contracts valued at or below the simplified acquisition threshold.

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Topics: Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, DFARS Business Systems, DCAA Audit Support, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), DOD Contractors

DPC Clarifies Allowability of Donated Leave Related to COVID


Let us Set the Stage

On June 11, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) put out a Notice (2020-46) that allowed employees to donate unused leave to charitable groups supporting the COVID-19 National Emergency. Under the leave-based donation program, employees can elect to forgo vacation, sick, or personal leave in exchange for cash payments that the employer makes to charitable organizations. The notice provides that employee’s donation of leave will not be taxable income to the employee, however the employer will still treat the cost of the leave granted to the employee as either ordinary and necessary business expense or a charitable contribution. This applies to donations made before the end of the 2020 calendar year.

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Topics: Contracts Administration, COVID-19

FASB 842 Lease Accounting – What is the Impact on Government Cost Accounting?

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Topic 842, Leases, in February 2016 effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018. The change was “to increase transparency and comparability among organizations by recognizing lease assets and lease liabilities on the balance sheet and disclosing key information about leasing arrangements.” For the past 40 years or so, operating leases were only required to be presented in the disclosure and were off-balance sheet transactions. Other than the new asset (Right to Use asset) and a related liability on the balance sheet, the impact on the income statement (a single line item for lease expense) and cash flow are unchanged, at least under GAAP. International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) now requires all leases be treated similar to capital leases (Topic 842 calls these finance leases). So, under IFRS there will be more unallowable interest to properly account for on Government proposals and contracts incorporating FAR Part 31.

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Topics: Non-US government contractor, Cost and Pricing and Budgeting, Contracts Administration, Cost-Type Contracts, Accounting & Billing System, DOD Contractors, Cost Accounting Standards (CAS)

Subcontract Considerations, Basic Tip on Compliance for Prime Contractors

If your business pipeline is growing and you are issuing more subcontracts of higher values, Contractors should be aware that your organization has a duty under 48 CFR §22.805 to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

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Topics: Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, FAR, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Government Regulations, DOD Contractors